Frank Lampard has signed a new one-year contract to remain at Chelsea after becoming the club’s all-time goal scorer and winning a Europa League title to add to his medal tally at the club last night.
The midfielder recently admitted that things were looking good in terms of negotiations and will play his 13th year with the club next season.
Lampard expressed his delight and told the club’s official website:
“I’m absolutely delighted. Everybody knows I always maintained the dream was to stay at Chelsea. We’ve been talking for ages and even though it went on for quite a period it was always amicable.
“I want to thank Mr Abramovich for everything he’s done in making the dream a reality. I love this club, the staff, the players and especially the supporters, who have treated me fantastically since the day I arrived.
“The thought of helping the club to more success in the forthcoming years is all I ever wanted. I couldn’t be happier.”
Chief executive Ron Gourlay added:
“Frank has been an important player for Chelsea Football Club for a long time and has played a significant part in the club’s success.
“We have been talking to him since the end of last year and our discussions have been entirely positive throughout. We are delighted we are now announcing an extension to his contract which will keep him at the club until 2014.”
I wonder whether or not this has anything to do with a request made by the incoming manager and we all know how highly Jose Mourinho, the favourite for the role, regards Lamps. It is a popular decision amongst the fans in any case as they have been chanting ‘sign him up’ all season as he has been helping Chelsea make history as well as picking up a pretty significant personal accolade.
My theory is that there’s been a change of heart on all sides as there was rumours that club officials were worried that the player may suffer a swift decline and were reluctant to offer a deal, but he seems to have allayed those fears as he always keeps himself healthy and has banged the goals in this season.
Also, for Lampard, who must have considered going out on a high, may have made a U-turn on certain demands himself. He’ll be 35 next season and there’s no chance that he will be guaranteed playing time and he had said that he has no interest in seeing out his days on the bench, so I reckon the idea of being a senior citizen at Chelsea under someone like Mourinho is something that appeals to him.
He may also want to emulate what Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have done at Manchester United. He will have to take a significant pay cut at some point to enjoy that sort of longevity though and pick up a similar wage to the aforementioned.